xpsp2 beta pop-up manager feedback

I thought I would take some time to respond to some of the feedback from the beta.  First, we have gotten a lot of very positive feedback on the Pop-up Manager.  I am very happy about this.  I have always been excited to work on IE because it is used by so many people.  Having all those people excited about something in the product is even better.  Despite all the joy, there have been some incoming bugs from the beta program. 

Script error when pop-up is blocked -- This happens when a web page calls window.open() and then blindly uses the return value without checking for null.  This is bad because window.open() can fail for reasons other then IE deciding to block a pop-up, such as out of memory, etc.  Some third party pop-up management tools suppress the script error but the script still stops running. 

Adding *.domain.com to white list does not work -- This is a known bug.  We did not have time to add the wild card functionality for the beta.  This has now been implemented and will work in the next release.

Various pop-ups are blocked or not blocked inappropriately -- There are reports that some pop-ups are allowed when they should not be or are blocked when they should be allowed through.  We will investigate each of these and see where the problem lies. 

There were also a few requests to add various bells and whistles.  Some of these were things we had already considered or are still taking under consideration, and some were quite outlandish.  One of our guiding principles for this feature was to keep things simple for the user-- they turn it on, forget about it, and it just works.  I have personally seen third party pop-up managers with, literally, hundreds of options to tweak and play with.  Having that level of detailed control is great for us geeks, but for something built-in to IE it is unreasonable.

On a completely personal and unrelated side note, I take it as a sort of personal defeat whenever I am forced to add another dialog box to the product.

Comments (19)

  1. All these additions for IE is great and very much appreciated. Pop-up blocking is something that i’m really really looking forward to. And the plug-in manager is awesome as well. Finally some control over those damned unsolicited ActiveX annoyances, and a chance for people to rid IE of hijackers and such (at least some of them). Great stuff!

    But now for some serious questions. Is there any hope of having the PNG transparency bug fixed before Service Pack 2 get’s released? And what about the remaining bugs and finishing work on the CSS 2 compliance (specially the :hover pseudoclass)? These are bugs that are seriously stopping web developers from releaseing some awesome looking cross-browser compatible web-pages. If only the PNG bug could be fixed i’d be more than happy.

    A disturbing thing i read though is that some people suggested these things couldn’t be fixed because IE’s rendering engine was already as matures as it could get (at least not without a massive redesign and coding)?!? I really hope this isn’t true.

    CSS 2 compliance and the PNG bug is something that really needs to be fixed. With ASP.NET 2.0 coming along with it’s XHTML 1.1 output and heavy stylesheet support i can’t imagine anything other than IE should support it fully. What’s the use if it doesn’t since a big majority of people use IE for browsing?

    But again i want to thank you for adding pop-up blocking and plugin management. These are tools that were badly needed and will surely make a lot of people happy ๐Ÿ™‚

    Happy coding!

  2. Quick question, I was just wondering if a tabbed interface for IE is planned since it seems to be gaining quite a bit of popularity? Any comments on this?

  3. jeffdav says:

    I can not really comment one way or the other on tabbed browsing. But I promise to post about it at some future date.

  4. Jason says:

    Jeffdav: Are there any plans for transparent PNG support and full CSS2 support? Currently, the only transparent image format is GIF, which is really low quality in my opinion and designed for the dialup era. Transparent PNGs are designed for the broadband era, and they will give users huge new opportunities to create greater looking web pages, because you get the quality of JPEGs with the ability to add transparency to the image as well.

    Also, full CSS2 support will help push IE forward in terms of developer flexibility like the poster mentioned above.

    These two features would put IE back on the top!

  5. Mike Dimmick says:

    (Looks like you’re beginning to get a lot of links from Scoble – the price of popularity!)

    This is more of a bug report. In IE 6.0 RTM and SP1 (I’ve seen this on Windows 2000 and XP), once the browser’s cache gets full, the indexes seem to get corrupted. This leads to the browser failing to display some components of the page, for example, images, stylesheets, Flash, etc.

    I have two solutions: set the cache size to be small and clear it regularly, or set the cache size to be enormous. Clearing the cache always seems to solve the problem, until the next time it fills up.

    Clearing the cache takes a very long time even for a small cache – for a large cache it can take _minutes_.

  6. can you at least say whether the thought/idea has crossed microsoft’s mind? I hope it has, as that is the only thing holding it back from totally diminishing mozilla/opera’s userbase. I just want an idea of if microsoft has heard the cry for tabbed browsing ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. All you have to do is buy the code for MyIE2 and make a couple of branding changes. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Mike Dimmick says:

    Easier than that – use the code from the Microsoft Document Explorer that comes with Visual Studio .NET (2003).

    Indeed, you can use this if you really want a tabbed browser ๐Ÿ˜‰ Personally, I’m not that keen – I prefer separate frames.

  9. Another User says:

    The popup manager has worked faultlessly for me, a real "set it and forget it" feature that works perfectly. Now i just wish it would hurry up and get released, maybe even as a standaline Pre-SP hotfix ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. <a title="xpsp2 beta pop-up manager feedback" href="http://weblogs.asp.net/jeffdav/archive/2004/01/14/58726.aspx">xpsp2 beta pop-up manager feedback</a><strong>I thought I would take some time to respond to some of the feedback from the beta. First, we have gotten a lot of very positive feedback on the Pop-up Manager. I am very happy about this. I have always been excited to work on IE because it is used by so many people. Having all those people excited about something in the product is even better. Despite all the joy, there have been some incoming bugs from the beta program. </strong>

  11. KS says:

    Applause for the popup manager. Indeed, it’s easy to use and effective at the same time.

  12. Christian says:

    Can you talk about the following bug in your blog:

    When you create a HTML-page and store it on http://www.aaa.com

    and put a link to a css-page inside that’s stored on another

    domain: http://www.bbb.com, then if you open the page and select

    File-> Save Page and choose to save the whole page (important

    feature! I always want to save all the frames of a frameset and

    the pictures and so on), then IE will start to create a directory,

    happily place all the pictures inside.

    But then it will wipe out that folder again and stop it’s progress

    bar and will show a message box: "Page cannot be saved".

    I called MS-support and he found the bug in the internal part of

    the Knowledgebase. He said it would have been introduced with

    a specific security update and that he doesn’t know when it will

    be fixed.

    This was one of the main reasons I switched to Firebird, because

    I usually save every page to disc where I find something I want

    to find again later.

    Would be nice if you could tell us the reason for this bug

    and the things that prevent it from being fixed. Usually

    there are good reasons and it is always nice to know them.


  13. The new features for Internet Explore are quite handy, especially the "AllowList" and "DenyList" registry entries.

    I was curious if there were plans to implement "Uninstall/Remove Add-on" capabilities to the Manage Add-ons panel in Internet Explorer, which would be an excellent addition for the end-user. And, perhaps, an entry for end-users to create their own AllowList and/or DenyList without relying on the registry?

    Thanks for any feedback,


  14. Glen Johannes says:

    Any reason why after several days of not having any pop ups appearing in SP2 2082 all of a sudden I am getting bombarded with pop ups. XP is also not giving me the option to allow or reject theseannoying pop ups?

  15. jeffdav says:

    There could be several reasons. You can reset the Popup Blocker by deleting all the registry keys under HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerNew Windows. IE will generate the defaults from there.

    But I would also recommend getting Ad Aware or some other spyware/adware detector-remover and scan your machine. You could have (unintentionally) installed some malicious software that is spawning popups outside of the context that the IE popup manager can control.

  16. Glen Johannes says:

    Thanks very much Jeff – works a treat!

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